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Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive

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  • Jaime Alonso-Carrera
  • Jordi Caballé
  • Xavier Raurich

Abstract

We consider an economy where individuals use their standard of living based on past consumption in order to evaluate the utility arising from current consumption. We analyse how this process of preference formation affects the bequest motive. We show that habits (based on one's own past consumption) reduce the willingness of individuals to leave bequests, while aspirations (based on the standard of living of parents) make the existence of positive bequests easier. The long-run effects of both habits and aspirations on capital stock and on the amount of bequests depend on whether or not the bequest motive is operative. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2007. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 813-836, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:520:p:813-836
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2008. "The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth," ThE Papers 08/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    2. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron & Mauro Bambi, 2012. "Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?," Discussion Papers 12/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Schäfer, Andreas & Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, And Population Dynamics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-397, June.
    4. Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2009. "Crime and Remittance Transfers," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 232-247.
    5. Luca Gori & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Indeterminacy and nonlinear dynamics in an OLG growth model with endogenous labour supply and inherited tastes," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 37(1), pages 159-179, April.
    6. Barnett, Richard C. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2008. "Rejuveniles and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1055-1071, August.
    7. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballé, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2008. "Estate taxes, consumption externalities, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1751-1764, July.
    8. Allen, Jeffrey & Chakraborty, Shankha, 2018. "Aspirations, health and the cost of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 144-164.
    9. Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2014. "Aspirations and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Jose Maria Casado & Jose Maria Labeaga, 2016. "Envy and Habits: Panel Data Estimates of Interdependent Preferences," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 443-469, August.
    11. Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit formation and resource dependence in dynastic economies," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 131-145, May.
    12. Luciano, Fanti & Luca, Gori & Cristiana, Mammana & Elisabetta, Michetti, 2016. "Complex dynamics in an OLG model of growth with inherited tastes," MPRA Paper 69906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Angelini, Viola, 2009. "Consumption and habit formation when time horizon is finite," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 113-116, May.
    14. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2015. "On the Accumulation of Wealth under Aspirations," Working Papers 826, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    15. Luciano Fanti, 2012. "Habits, aspirations and endogenous fertility," Discussion Papers 2012/142, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    16. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:122:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0537-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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